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    by Published on 10-26-2012 12:32 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Just got an LG Optimus G. Here are my quick thoughts on it.

    Both the front and back are covered with Gorilla Glass. Apparently the back is polarized so it has an interesting pattern on it. Some how in my hand the finish makes it feel like plastic - maybe the sides have too much laquer on them or something. Still, it's a very solid phone.

    The screen looks amazing. It's 4.7" 1280x720 display with amazing viewing angles. I just got it tonight so I haven't had a chance to use it outdoors in the sun yet.

    The speaker on the back isn't very loud.

    There are going to be 2 versions for the Canadian market. They differ in terms of LTE support. The Rogers one has 2600Mhz LTE only while the TELUS and Bell ones have AWS LTE (and probably other bands though I'm just speculating here). ...
    by Published on 10-25-2012 03:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis

    Since our resident Apple Affectionado Ray finished his write up about Android from the eyes of an Apple user, he got an iPhone 4s. Since he was going from a 4 to a 4s I thought it was a good time for him to compare it with a Samsung Galaxy S III. An iPhone 5 comparo will come at a later date when my nano SIM card adapters show up.

    In case you didn't read the first article Ray is a huge Apple fan, Apple stickers, all Apple products, at home, that sort of thing. It's not that Ray doesn't like non-Apple products, it's just that he's always used Apple products and been happy with them. That said, Ray is not a non-Apple hater. Let's see what he thinks about the Galaxy S III

    I heard from a co-worker that there was a promotion at my workplace for an Employee Purchase Plans from Telus: 16GB iPhone 4S or 16GB Galaxy S3 for $0 on a 3-yr contract. Both can use the same voice/data plan at $50/mth. The co-worker opted for the iPhone and commented that Samsung isn't in the same league as Apple. And of course, the conversation drifted into that lawsuit and then about how crappy Rogers reception is in the office. But, after a week with Samsung, I understand why Apple needed to do something about the competition.
    ...
    by Published on 10-23-2012 11:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
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    Today Apple announced 2 new iPads. The iPad with Retina display and the iPad mini. Let’s check out the effect the mini will have on the Tablet market.

    Whether you love or hate Apple, you’ve got to admit that they’ve done a great job of managing their brand. In the 3 categories where Apple is strongest; that would be computers, phones and tablets, their devices are seen as premium products and generally command the highest prices. Take tablets for example. Until the announcement of the iPad mini, at $429, the iPad 2 was Apple’s cheapest tablet. Looking around, there aren’t a lot of 10” Android tablets that cost more than $429. Most of the 10” Android tablet action happens around $349.

    A year ago, I was having a conversation about Android tablets and said that Apple could destroy the market for Android tablets by lowering the the price of the iPad. In order to compete Android makers have to make tablets with similar hardware yet with lower price points. The problem is that each Android tablets maker can’t sell their tablets in the same numbers of iPads so they can’t get the same economies of scale. ...
    Published on 10-23-2012 03:59 PM
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    Today Apple announced the new iPad mini. It has a 7.9” screen and starts at $329 for the 16GB model. It comes in 16/32/64GB sizes. Add $130 for LTE support. It’s available in both black and white.

    It’s got a 1024x768 IPS display (same resolution as the iPad 2) but since it’s smaller it has a tighter pixel pitch of 163ppi vs 136ppi on the iPad 2. The iPad with Retina display has 264ppi.

    Like the Retina iPad it has a 5MP camera. Its battery is supposed to last up to 10hrs on WiFi and 9hrs on LTE.

    Like the iPhone 5 it has a 8 pin lightning USB connector and it takes nano SIMs.

    Apple also released the iPad with Retina display. It’s replaces the iPad 3. Compared to the iPad 3 the one with Retina display the A6 processor from the iPhone 5 but the Retina’s has ‘quad core graphics’ plus it has the new lightning connector so it won’t be compatible with any of your existing iPad stuff without an adapter plus. Pricing for the iPad with Retina will priced at the same level as the iPad 3. ...
    by Published on 10-22-2012 07:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    One of last year’s unexpected hits was the Samsung Galaxy Note. It was basically a Galaxy S II with a stylus, a bigger, higher resolution display and a bigger battery. I had a nice laugh when I first saw it. I wondered, who would want to use such a large phone?

    It screamed ‘my phone is better than your phone because it’s bigger’. I figured it would appeal to guys who wear huge watches, drive showy cars, that sort of thing. Nothing like a good stereotype right? Anyways, if you go out, you’ll notice a lot of girls with Notes. Turns out a Note fits just fine in a purse. Maybe size really doesn’t matter.

    Anyways, it’s been about a year now and a lot has changed. Samsung is now the de-facto power in the Android smartphone space, so there’s a lot of anticipation for the Galaxy Note’s successor. ...
    by Published on 10-22-2012 05:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News

    Looks like you'll be able to use your cell phone in TTC subway stations in less than 2 years.

    Broadcast Australia PTY LTD will be paying the TTC $25 million over 20 years to put service in 61 subway stations.

    While the stations will have phone service there won't be any between stations if they're too far apart.

    Now it will be easier to avoid eye contact on the subway You excited? ...
    by Published on 10-16-2012 01:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    One of last year’s unexpected hits was the Samsung Galaxy Note. Boiled down it was basically a Galaxy S II with a stylus, a bigger higher resolution display and a bigger battery. It screamed ‘my phone is better than your phone because it’s bigger’. I figured it would appeal to guys who wear huge watches, drive showy cars, that sort of thing. However, if you go out you’ll notice actually notice a lot of girls with Notes. Turns out a Note fits just fine in a purse. I guess size really doesn’t matter.

    Anyways, it’s been about a year now and a lot has changed. Samsung is now the de facto power in the Android smartphone space so there’s a lot of anticipation on the Galaxy Note’s successor.
    ...
    by Published on 10-15-2012 08:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    We're giving away a Maximum Signal Sphere Wireless Amplifier! To enter leave a comment on this post, if you use Facebook like the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, and if you are a Twitter user you can tweet about it using #HoFoMaxSig and posting a link to this blog entry. Any one will give you an entry. Doing all three will give you three chances to win.

    *Contest Rules: Contest is open only to Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. The winner must answer the skill testing question: What does LTE stand for? Note that this item will require installation.

    Contest ends on Monday October 22 at 9:00 PM PDT. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced after being selected. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen. While you're waiting, read Howard's review!

    Good luck!

    P.S. U.S. users, we will have a giveaway just for you at another time! And we're giving something else away next week!
    by Published on 10-12-2012 06:41 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Contests and Giveaways
    Article Preview



    *EDIT* Congrats to our winners:
    oboreo
    jwslan
    savbers
    WorldIRC

    If you won I'll contact you in the next couple of days with details.


    We're giving away 4 tickets to the AndroidTO show! The show takes place on Oct 25th at the Scotiabank Theater in Toronto.

    If you want the tickets just hit reply. I'll randomly select 4 of you Monday evening.

    If you don't know what AndroidTO is here's a quote from their website:
    ...
    by Published on 10-12-2012 02:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Starting with the HTC One X back in April, Android flagships have a few common features: A 1.5Ghz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor, LTE, 4.7”+ screens, 8MP cameras, NFC and 16GB+ built-in storage. Now Motorola throws their hat in the ring with the RAZR HD LTE.

    While I appreciate how detailed the RAZR HD LTE’s name is it a bit of a mouthful. Then again I guess I should be happy it’s not called the Motorola 2012 RAZR HD LTE NFC 8MP KEVLAR 4.7 2500MAH.

    With it’s sharp edges and the exposed weave on its Kevlar back the RAZR has a very striking and memorable design.

    Now if you look at the RAZR’s specifications you’ll notice that they’re very similar to the ATRIX HD LTE I reviewed recently. Indeed, looking at the spec sheets the 3 main differences are the bigger screen (4.5” LCD vs 4.7” Super AMOLED), NFC and bigger battery (2530mAh vs 1780mAh). Bigger and more or better right? ...
    by Published on 10-08-2012 03:54 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. Carriers
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    T-Mobile just announced the Windows Phone 8 powered Nokia Lumia 810. I'm not sure how the 810 is different from the 820. Looking at the picture the design appears to be slightly different. Compared to the pictures of the 820 I took at the Nokia launch the 810 looks like it has harder edges whereas the 820's are more rounded.

    Like 820 the 810 has a 4.3" WVGA (800x480) OLED display. Details on the processor, storage, RAM weren't mentioned.
    ...
    by Published on 10-05-2012 05:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Humor,
    4. Rumors
    Article Preview


    Rapid Berry just posted some specs for an upcoming device codenamed 'Aristo'.

    Hardware wise it's quite a beast. Qualcomm APQ 8064 quad core SOC with LTE. The 8064 has 4 Krait cores (the LTE Galaxy S III has 2 Krait cores) along with an Adreno 320 GPU. 4.65" 1280x720 OCTA Glass OLED display. I wonder if it's the display from the Galaxy Nexus.

    There will be North American and Euro versions both of which support LTE. A CDMA version for Verizon wasn't mentioned.
    ...
    by Published on 10-04-2012 09:37 AM

    Today, we announced the thrilling news that T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS will combine to create the premier challenger in the U.S. wireless industry. The new, publicly-traded company will retain the T-Mobile name.

    This isn't a deal to survive – it's to thrive. This is a terrific opportunity for two companies with a shared commitment to innovation and customer service to come together to improve the way you communicate. We're here to compete. We're here to unlock value.

    And we're here to win.

    This transaction will significantly accelerate T-Mobile's Challenger Strategy – the new company will be a bigger, better, bolder wireless challenger with the expanded scale, spectrum and resources to compete more fiercely with other national U.S. wireless carriers.

    Together, the combined entity will be able to:

    · Leverage a faster, stronger and more reliable network to provide amazing 4G services. We'll have unsurpassed speed and reliability through a denser, higher-capacity network and deeper LTE coverage in key metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. We'll have greater network coverage and a path to at least 20x20 MHz of LTE in many areas.
    · Provide customers more choices, including an expanded selection of affordable products and services, such as contract, no-contract monthly, SIM-only, pay-as-you-go and mobile broadband, and our most compelling line up of devices – phones, tablets, hot spots, or other future networked devices.
    · Offer bold, compelling and unique 4G plans including T-Mobile's Unlimited Nationwide 4G and MetroPCS's 4G for All.
    · Offer a superior customer experience to more subscribers in more metro areas through more than 70,000 customer touchpoints.
    Today's announcement is the first step in this process. We anticipate that the transaction will close in the first half of 2013, following the required MetroPCS shareholder and customary regulatory approvals. In the meantime, T-Mobile and MetroPCS will continue to operate as separate companies. After closing, T-Mobile will be a separate customer unit of the combined company.

    Together, T-Mobile and MetroPCS will be a stronger player in the industry. We're creating a value-oriented challenger to the existing national carriers – one with the scale to deliver greater network coverage and a wider range of product offerings to better fulfill your needs. ...
    by Published on 10-03-2012 07:10 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. From The Forums

    Just got an email saying that OS 2.1 has just been released for the Playbook WiFi. It's an OTA update so wait for the update notification or go through the menus to update manually. Here's what's new:

    With PlayBook OS 2.1, customers will now have the ability to:
    • Secure all data on the tablet; the enterprise-grade encryption can now be extended to secure personal data stored on the device
    • Text via SMS using the new version of BlackBerry Bridge (version 2.1) customers can send a text from their PlayBook through their BlackBerry smartphone; the new version of Bridge is available on BlackBerry App World
    • Use the Messages, Contacts and Calendar apps in Portrait mode;
    • “Print” documents from a PC to a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using the Print To Go app even if the PC and tablet are connected to different networks;

    Additionally, PlayBook OS 2.1 offers new features that simplify the deployment of the tablets in the enterprise with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. These include over-the-air enrollment to the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion server, support for ActiveSync certificate-based authentication, and additional IT Policy controls.

    For developers (and consumers), the In–App Payment system now extends to Android applications.
    Anyone with a Playbook give it a try?
    by Published on 10-02-2012 07:57 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. From The Forums,
    3. Carriers

    *EDIT* LTE service has now been fixed as of around 9AM 10/3. Outage lasted around 15hrs. Reboot your phone if you don't see LTE.

    I'm in Oakville right now and I haven't been able to get onto Rogers LTE with any of my Rogers lines since before 7pm EST today. I'm stuck on HSPA.

    Is it due to the new iPhone 5? Did Rogers just get iPn'd?

    Looks like it's a Nation-wide LTE Outage. Rogers is saying they're working on a fix.

    One member PM'd me suggesting it's a HSS problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Mult...scriber_Server

    Without it, LTE and IMS (RON) are toast.
    ...
    by Published on 10-01-2012 03:19 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Exclusives
    Article Preview


    My friend Ray recently gave me a call. He was in-between iPhones and wanted to borrow something for a week. I guess he figured I'd lend him something old - possibly with a keypad. So I can imagine his surprise when I offered to lend him my HTC One X.

    Now Ray is an interesting fellow. He's a die hard Mac fan. He owns a Macbook, MacPro, iPhone and puts Apple stickers on his cars. I'm sure he's got a bunch of 'think different' T-shirts in his wardrobe too.

    It's not that Ray hates PC's, cars without Apple stickers and plain T-Shirts. It's just that he just really loves Apple stuff. So the reason he doesn't use Android phones is not because he thinks they're inferior - it's just that Apple products work really well for him so he's never really considered anything else.

    He follows tech news and knows what an HTC One X or Galaxy S III is but he's not that aware of all the features they have.

    The reason I lent him a One X was not to try to convert him to Android. Rather I wanted him to give Android a try so that he could give me his thoughts on it. It's not meant to be a 'Why Android sucks or Why Apple sucks article'. Note the he's going from an iPhone 4 running iOS 5 to a HTC One X (He actually wrote this before the iPhone 5 launch). So the HTC One X is going to be a big step up for him. Here's what he wrote: ...
    by Published on 10-01-2012 10:53 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    We're giving away an unlocked 16GB iPhone 5! To enter you can leave a comment on this post, if you use Facebook "like" the the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, and if you are a Twitter user you can tweet about it using #HoFo and linking to the contest at http://t.co/Kqc8LWf4. Any one will give you an entry. Doing all three will give you three chances to win.

    *Contest Rules: Contest is open to U.S. and Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. If a Canadian wins they must answer the skill testing question: What operating system is found on the HP TouchPad? U.S. winner will be responsible for all taxes and customs. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Contest not open to HowardForums staff. The iPhone 5 we are giving away will not work with Sprint and Verizon.

    Contest ends on Tuesday October 9 at 9:00 PM PDT. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced after being selected. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!

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